You can take that painting down when I die. Until then, leave it. When I die you can move those chairs, until then, let them stay. You can clear away that stuff when I’m dead. Just leave it for now. I don't want to take that trip but you can go when I'm dead. Don’t move these things here. You can toss them all into the trash when I’m gone.
God understands so I don’t feel but so bad for the thoughts that sometimes run through my head. I’m especially mindful though not to say them out loud. But I cannot make her understand that we are still here, and our choices should not be dependent on what a dead man once wanted for himself. But celebrating the here and now is suddenly foreign to her.
When my father died, she too stopped living. It has taken the patience of Job to keep her pushing forward with both feet. Most times, I have had to drag her along kicking and screaming. Change terrifies her and she sees death as the only answer to her fears. She’d been married to him longer than I’ve been alive, and his world was all she’d ever known. For sixty-plus years her entire existence had revolved around him, and now she feels lost with him not here. That makes me so sad.
I had hoped she would want more in however long she has left. That she would finally step out of the shadows and shine. She had once been a vibrant personality. She could slay dragons, run marathons, and take the world by storm with a simple dance step or two. That mother had no fear of anything. That mother lived every day for her next adventure. That mother held tightly to family and friends. People meant more to her than things. We lost my mother when my father died. That woman, is the one I miss even more than not having my father here.